Store boycotted after claim denied

November 30, 2008 1:00:00 AM PST
In Fairfield Sunday a small group of people took on a billion-dollar business.

The protestors are upset that Dollar Tree stores are refusing to pay death benefits to the family of a woman killed on the job, because her death was a hate crime.

The protestors are trying to make the store pay one lost customer at a time.

"I just wanted to give you information on the Taneka Talley killing here at Dollar Tree," Jerome Curenton told a passerby at the store.

Curenton dedicated his Sunday to Taneka Talley, a single mother killed on the job inside a Dollar Tree store two years ago, but whose benefits are being denied to her 11-year old son.

"It was pretty much outrage when I saw how the company and the insurance company treated her and her family," he said.

Curenton and a few acquaintances are hoping the flyers they passed out Sunday day turn people away.

For Clamon Fountain they succeeded.

"I think they should support the child at least. Because you know his mama is gone you know," he said.

A psychiatrist who examined the white suspect has testified that he killed Talley because and only because she was black.

Now, Dollar Tree, Ace Insurance Group and a subsidiary of the Hartford, are refusing to pay death benefits. They say it was a hate crime which makes the incident personal.

State law says if it's personal, companies don't have to pay workman's comp death benefits.

Toni Mcintosh is not buying that argument.

"And they're saying it was more of a racial thing which I find that totally disgusting. I don't agree with it, she said.

"I'd just like to see people reconsider supporting Dollar Tree at this time. Until they either part from the Ace Insurance Company or personally do something for the family," says Curenton.

Dollar Tree told ABC7 that while Talley's killing is tragic and heartbreaking, it is still not covered by workers comp under state law.

Ace Insurance had no comment. Specialty Risk Services from the Hartford says it is not a major player.

Taneka Talley's mom stopped by for support Sunday. She's now raising Taneka's son.

"I appreciate it very much. I'm very happy. We need all the support we can get," she told ABC7.

Protestors say the next step is to take the protest to the internet and take it nationwide. They know the only way they are going to win is to hit Dollar tree where it really hurts; in the pocket book, one dollar at a time.

By the way, Dollar Tree stores reported earnings this week and unlike most in the retail sector, their quarterly profit was up 20 percent, as the company predicted holiday sales near $1.4 billion.


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